Pope Francis has  reminded us of a fundamental truth: there is no Christianity without the Cross. Daily, we are presented with the temptation of St. Peter: Lord, “I will follow you, but let us not speak of the Cross; I will follow you on other terms, but without the Cross.”

Consequently, when we live with this attitude, “when we journey without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord…”

We may be many things: priests, religious, church-leaders, youth ministers, “practicing Catholics”, etc: however, we are not disciples of the Lord.

The Cross

The moment of the Cross is a moment of shadow, of darkness. As Christians, as we see in the video, we are assured of the victory of the light, the victory of God’s promise, of Christ’s resurrection, of our salvation and eternal happiness. We must be careful, however, not to detach what is necessarily united: Cross-Resurrection, Resurrection-Cross.

In John 1:5 we read: “And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it…” Here, we can discover a key to understanding the paradoxical nature so important in the Christian existence: “the light shineth in darkness”. The light is to be found precisely in the darkness. The light of the resurrection shines in the darkness of the Cross. This is also a path for our daily Christian life: we must faithfully live out the darkness of our sufferings, accepting our failings, sins and misery, adhering ourselves to the Crucified Christ, in order to discover there, in the midst of it all, the light, the power of the Resurrected Christ.

As apostles of Christ, as Catholics who have accepted Christ’s call to evangelize, we must never forget the dynamic of the cross. We must learn to live it in of our own lives, we must respond to Christ: “I will follow you, all the way towards Calvary.” And, we must be courageous in professing and sharing this faith in the cross which appears to be a “madness” for so many.

Questions for dialogue?

What does the Cross of Christ mean for me? Do I pretend to follow Christ without the Cross?  Am I able to perceive the light of the Resurrection, and receive the strength that it offers, in the midst of the darkness of the Cross? Do I profess my faith in the Cross of Christ, or am I afraid or ashamed of it?

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